Wearable Technology – A Long List of Failures

There are many kinds of technology that have been invented through the years, but among all sub-genres of technology, those wearable ones seem to be the most prone to disaster. The field of technology that gave us the Apple Watch, Fitbit, and VR headsets has also given us with some of the worst and strangest products to ever be produced.  You can check out electronics design company and understand how they create a product.

Here are some of the wearable technology that ended up in the bin and made us wonder what they were thinking when they invented these.

1. Virtual Boy

The Virtual Boy is a video game console created and manufactured by Nintendo. It was released in 1995 and marketed as the first console that was capable of displaying stereoscopic 3D graphics. Some of the common complaints about this product was it had jumpy images, lack of head tracking, and the feeling of dizziness and nausea of players when using it. Only 1.26 million of these were sold worldwide, making it one of the biggest disasters in the gaming world.

2. Power Glove

Power Glove

This is a controller accessory made for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was able to gain public attention because of its early virtual reality mechanics. However, it did not sell well because it wasn’t packaged with a game. It was also criticized as imprecise and its controls are difficult to use. But it kind of paved the way for some cool products like the PlayStation Move.

3. Neptune Pine

This is a full-featured smartwatch that was developed by Neptune, a Canadian consumer electronics and wearable technology company. It was launched on November 2013. It featured a 2.4-inch high resolution screen. However, the problem was it had a lot of screen to have it sit on your wrist. The size was actually the only issue about the smartwatch because it was just too big.

4. Kreyos Meteor

The Kreyos Meteor was a smartwatch produced by Kreyos, a consumer electronics company based in San Francisco, California. Their goal was to develop digital wearable devices fitted for people with active lifestyles. However, the product was poorly received and a lot of units were not deliver and some were defective. With that, the company closed in 2014.

5. Smart Ring

This product claimed that it will enable you to send texts, control home appliances, and even pay your bills. But it has a video that’s now been viewed more than a million times with the title “Worst Product Ever Made”. Based on reviews, it was the most inconvenient and useless piece of hardware and software they’ve ever seen.

6. Fossil Wrist PDA

In 2002, Fossil launched an early entrant into the smartwatch race. It was so early that no one understood it. It had poor sales that led Fossil to discontinue its production in 2005.

7. Google Glass

Google Glass is a smart glass that was produced to display information like a smartphone with a hands-free format. However, it was touted as obnoxious and it has caused a lot of problems about driving laws, copyright, and privacy issues.

8. Nike Fuel Band

Nike Fuel Band has a sleek design but it was now discontinued because the information gathered by Nike was not compatible with anything but Nike+ products. It also did not always show accurate data.

9. Samsung Galaxy Gear

This smartwatch created a share of wearable buzz, but it did not live up to the expectations because it had poor battery life and was only compatible with Galaxy Note 3.

10. Samsung Galaxy Gear 2

This is a new version to improve the Galaxy Gear but it still did not work well. It was difficult to charge and it lacked engaging apps. Based on reviews, it was just a plain accessory to the phone and not exactly a smartwatch that can exist on its own.

11. Sony SmartWatch

Sony SmartWatch is sleek but it is only compatible with Android smartphones. Some of the other complaints about is was it needs a daily charge and it’s hard to see the screen outdoors. Also, everything needs to be powered by the phone connected to it, making it not-so-smart.

12. Basis Peak

This was a smartwatch launched by Intel in June 2016. However, they are all recalled the following month because of overheating issues. And some customers even reported that its charging cables were overheating and melting as well, making it a double fail. Intel fully refunded all the people who bought the smartwatch and their software updates were not able to fix the problem.

13. Xybernaut Poma

This was a wearable computer released in 2002 by Xybernaut. Poma meant Personal Media Appliance. However, it failed for a few reasons and the top reason was that the product was expensive and clunky. It requires the user to wear a head mounted optical piece, a CPU clipped onto clothing, and a mini keyboard attached to the user’s arm.

14. QR Tie

This product is a plain tie with a QR code built in it. You’ll ask people to hold their phones up to your neckwear for them to know your personal details. It is indeed a strange wearable technology.

15. Skully

This was the most successful wearable tech projects of Indiegogo however, they filed for bankruptcy after because none of the things they promised about the helmet worked. It promised to have detailed road layouts and GPS mapping as well as hands free music streaming and access to a rear view camera feed. But none of the 2,000 plus backers ever managed to get their head in one.

16. MSN Direct Smart Watch

This is a smartwatch related to Wrist PDA. It was the first smartwatch from Microsoft which was also created by Fossil. It was launched in 2004 and was capable of receiving information, news headlines, and short messages. However, during that time, mobile phones were becoming smarter which lessen the need for a secondary device.

17. Cat Ear Headphones

These Cat Ear headphones feature glowing cat ears attached to the headphones. Aside from that, they can also be turned into speakers because they can play music outwards.

18. Oakley Thump

During the mid-2000s, a lot of devices were combined with an MP3 player and this sunglass is one of those. It came with a couple of earbuds and up to 1GB of storage. However, Oakley did not think about who’d want to listen to music indoors or not look like a weird person outside.

19. Fitbit Force

This Force tracker came with cool functions like activity and sleep recording, an altimeter and an OLED display. However, it had thousands of reports of skin rashes. That’s why Fitbit was forced to recall one million or so units that have been sold.

20. Com 1 Android Wear

Back in September 2014, the Com 1 Android Wear smartwatch hit crowdfunding site Indiegogo. Its team claimed that if it hit its target, the device would ship early 2015. But the campaign disappeared with a dispute over copyright with Google and the project was pulled.

21. Tomatan

Tomatan was introduced in 2015. It’s a wearable robot that dispenses tomatoes for people to eat while running. It is an 18-pound robot with a tomato for a head that you place on your shoulders

22. Jawbone Up

Up was Jawbone’s first fitness band but it was fully refunded in late 2011 because of issues with charging and syncing. The company refunded people even those without receipts or original packaging while letting them keep the defunct wristbands.

23. Huawei TalkBand B1

This is a hybrid smart band however, according to some reviews, it was difficult to snap on the wrist because of its cheap plastic materials. It is a basic smart band that tracks steps, sleep, and calories.

24. Qualcomm Toq Watch

This is a bigger and a simpler smartwatch compared to others but it is way too expensive than similar watches. It is also only compatible with Android devices and is meant to serve as more of a prototype for future watches that use Qualcomm chips.  

25. Meta Spaceglasses

These glasses were supposed to be a better alternative to Google Glass because they are made to look like aviators that you can wear anywhere. However, they’re quite bulkier with two LCD screens, 3D surround sound, and a connected pocket computer to power it.